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Stuffing Recipe Mix-Ins

How to Jazz Up Turkey Stuffing Recipes

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Cranberry Stuffing

Cranberry Stuffing

James Baigrie/Getty Images
Say goodbye to boring stuffing forever. With these creative mix-ins, your dressing will never be dull again. You can use any recipe as a base for these mix-ins, or try my basic turkey stuffing recipe. All of the quantities below are for 16 cups of bread cubes:

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  1. Pears - Peel and slice two pears into thin strips, and saute in 2 Tbsp. butter until softened.

  2. Sweetened Dried Cranberries - Stir in 1 cup.

  3. Apples - Peel and chop 2 large Granny Smith, Jonagold or other cooking apples into chunks. Saute in 2 Tbsp. butter until softened.

  4. Sausage - Add 1 lb. bulk sausage or, if using link sausage, remove casings, crumble and brown.

  5. Mushrooms - Brown 8 oz. sliced mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. butter.

  6. Pecans - Spread 1 cup chopped pecans in an even layer in a dry skillet. Toast until fragrant. Watch them carefully: Nuts can burn quickly.

  7. Chopped Dates - Stir 1 cup into stuffing.

  8. Caramelized Onions - Cut 1 large yellow onion into slices. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, and cook until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

  9. Bacon - Cook 8 oz. bacon until crisp. Crumble into stuffing.

  10. Walnuts - Stir 1 cup of plain or toasted walnut halves or chopped walnuts into stuffing. This makes a nice pairing with the apples, raisins and/or dates, too.

  11. Butternut Squash - Peel squash, and cut into 1-inch chunks. You will need about 2 cups (reserve the rest for another use). Season with salt and pepper, and toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast in a 425-degree oven until soft, but not mushy, about 30 minutes.

  12. Ham - Stir in 1 cup chopped smoked ham.

  13. Raisins - Stir in 1 cup. This goes well with apples and walnuts.

  14. Spinach and Artichokes - Stir in 1 10 oz. package spinach, thawed and squeezed dry. Add 1 cup chopped canned artichokes. Alternatively, thaw a package of frozen spinach artichoke dip in the microwave. Make sure it is not hot. Stir into stuffing mix. Proceed with the stuffing recipe as directed.

  15. Fresh Herbs - Stir in 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (yup - just like the song.

  16. Hot Sauce - Add a few dashes to taste.

  17. Cheese - Stir in 1 cup shredded Parmesan, cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

  18. Oysters - Stir in 8 oz. fresh or canned oysters, drained.

  19. Tri-Pepper - Chop 1 cup red, green and yellow bell peppers, and saute in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until soft. Alternatively, seed and chop 2 jalapeno or serrano chili peppers, and saute in olive oil until soft. This goes well with cornbread stuffing.

  20. Figs and Pine Nuts - Stir in 1 cup chopped dried figs and 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

  21. Chestnuts - Stir in 1 cup chopped dried canned chestnuts.

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